Alaska Airmen, Soldiers support multi-agency exercise

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, both Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) technicians with the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST), out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, walk toward a building with potential CBRN threats Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. The 103rd WMD-CST is a joint unit thats includes both Alaska Air National Guard and Alaska Army National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb and U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, both Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) technicians with the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST), out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, walk toward a building with potential CBRN threats at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. The 103rd WMD-CST is a joint unit thats includes both Alaska Air National Guard and Alaska Army National Guard. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

Multiple agencies from Fairbanks, Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright and the Alaska Army National Guard’s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) gather together in the Emergency Operations Center for a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental exercise Aug. 23, 2016, in Fairbanks, Alaska. The 103rd WMD-CST funded the exercise to test the interoperability between multiple agencies and get to know who they would work with in the event of a real-world emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

Multiple agencies from Fairbanks, Eielson Air Force Base, Fort Wainwright and the Alaska Army National Guard’s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) gather together in the Emergency Operations Center for a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental exercise in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. The 103rd WMD-CST funded the exercise to test the interoperability between multiple agencies and get to know who they would work with in the event of a real-world emergency. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Cassandra Whitman)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb, an Alaska Air National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) technician assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, uses an air monitor to check for CBRN substances during an exercise Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. In preparation for the exercise, multiple laboratories were staged within the building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb, an Alaska Air National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) technician assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, uses an air monitor to check for CBRN substances during an exercise at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. In preparation for the exercise, multiple laboratories were staged within the building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. military and civilian participants of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental exercise receive a briefing on a scenario they will participate in Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Members of the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Fairbanks Fire Department, and the FBI participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. military and civilian participants of a Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental exercise receive a briefing on a scenario they will participate in at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. Members of the 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, Fairbanks Fire Department, and the FBI participated in the exercise. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb, an Alaska Air National Guardsman and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) specialist with the Alaska National Guard’s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, prepares to don his containment suit Aug. 23, 20116, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. The 103rd WMD-CST was established to deploy rapidly to assist a local incident commander in determining the nature and extent of an attack or incident; and help identify and support the arrival of follow-on state and federal military response assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Air Force Senior Airman Eric McComb, an Alaska Air National Guardsman and Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) specialist with the Alaska National Guard’s 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team (WMD-CST) out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, prepares to don his containment suit at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. The 103rd WMD-CST was established to deploy rapidly to assist a local incident commander in determining the nature and extent of an attack or incident; and help identify and support the arrival of follow-on state and federal military response assets. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, uses an air monitor to check for CBRN substances during an exercise Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska.  In preparation for the exercise, multiple laboratories were staged within the building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear (CBRN) noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, uses an air monitor to check for CBRN substances during an exercise at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. In preparation for the exercise, multiple laboratories were staged within the building. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, checks a door for harmful substances during an exercise Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Air monitors with different sensors are used to check for various substances in the air. (U.S. photo by Air Force Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, checks a door for harmful substances during an exercise at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. Air monitors with different sensors are used to check for various substances in the air. (U.S. photo by Air Force Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, goes through a chemical decontamination point during an exercise Aug. 23, 2016, at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. During  the exercise, participants had to be decontaminated before leaving a contaminated area, known as the hot zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Andrew Markham, an Alaska Army National Guard Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear noncommissioned officer assigned to the 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team out of Kulis Air National Guard Base, Alaska, goes through a chemical decontamination point during an exercise at the Fairbanks Regional Fire Training Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23, 2016. During the exercise, participants had to be decontaminated before leaving a contaminated area, known as the hot zone. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Isaac Johnson)

EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska --

The 103rd Weapons of Mass Destruction-Civil Support Team, composed of Alaska Army National Guard Soldiers and Alaska Air National Guard Airmen, hosted an exercise in Fairbanks, Alaska, Aug. 23 for different agencies in the area including Eielson Air Force Base and Fort Wainwright.

The exercise provided an opportunity for different agencies to train together on Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Environmental agents.

“The main objective of the exercise was to train as we fight,” said Capt. Melkart Hawi, the 103rd WMD-CST operations officer. “We trained with the different organizations we would support if real-world emergencies were to happen.”

The Fairbanks Fire Department, 354th Civil Engineer Squadron, FBI, and the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation were just a few of the players involved with the exercise.

“Coming together to get to know the people you will potentially work with is important,” explained Hawi. “We’re learning how the pieces fit together before the real thing happens.”

Tech. Sgt. Tyler Brown, a 354th CES installation emergency manager, said testing inter-agency operability is an important factor when so many different organizations come together to respond to an emergency.

“Our team learned valuable information on the other agencies that participated,” said Brown. “We learned how we integrate with them and their mission in this type of emergency.”

Hawi explained how the National Guard has a dual mission to support the nation.

“One mission is to support federal, overseas war deployments by deploying our units,” said Hawi. “The second mission is to support our state in emergencies. We are given funds to set up these exercises between the different state agencies so we can connect before real events. It’s always important to know who you’re working with and understand we are all working toward the same goal.”

Hawi said the National Guard works to bridge the gap between the agencies and explained they are not there to take over the situation, but to lend support to the civil authorities on scene.

“This is a great representation of Citizen Soldiers [and Airmen] responding at a moment’s notice to support the community,” said Hawi.